29 Oct Men’s Health: Healthy Weight Maintenance
Men, this one’s for you! The majority of health, fitness and weight loss advice on the internet targets women, but doesn’t mean that men’s health is any less important.
Movember is fast approaching, so we’re sharing an extra blog post this week specifically about men’s health. Keep reading to find out how maintaining a healthy weight and making lifestyle changes can improve men’s health.
Managing Your Weight
It is important to maintain a healthy weight to reduce your risk of health problems. BMI is a useful tool to determine healthy weight according to height. In adults, a BMI of 25-29.9 is classed as overweight and a BMI of 30+ is considered as obese.
In 2016, 40% of men were overweight and an additional 26% were obese (Health Survey for England , 2016). Being obese can increase the risk of numerous health problems such as hypertension, type 2 diabetes, several cancers, self- esteem and depression. Furthermore, it can also impact on aspects of men’s health, including reduced libido and erectile dysfunction.
The location of excess weight is also an important issue. Men are more likely to hold excess body fat in their abdomen area. This in turn increases the risk of developing heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke and some cancers. A waist size over 94cm (37 inches) can increase the risk of health problems. A waist size over 102cm (40 inches) can put you at high risk of health problems.
Being underweight or overweight can reduce your chances of conceiving a baby. Therefore, it is important to try and maintain a healthy body weight if you are trying to conceive.
There is evidence that certain nutrients can influence male fertility. Selenium can contribute towards normal sperm production. Sources of selenium include brazil nuts, fish, meat, poultry and eggs. In addition, low levels of zinc can lead to low sperm count and low testosterone levels. Sources of zinc include meat, dairy, shellfish, wholegrain cereal and nuts.
Certain lifestyle factors can also affect fertility. Alcohol may affect sperm quality. Therefore, Men should not drink more than 14 units of alcohol a week in order to look after their health. Smoking is also linked to low sperm count and motility. Therefore, if you are trying to have a baby it is important to try to give up smoking.
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men. There are over 330,000 men living with and after prostate cancer in the UK (Prostate Cancer UK). According to The World Cancer Research Fund, there is strong evidence to suggest that being overweight or obese may increase the risk of developing advanced prostate cancer.
If after reading this post, you believe healthy weight loss may improve your health (or the health of a family member or friend), head to our Get Started page to find out how we can support your weight loss with one of our free programmes.